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May 2017 Column - Extending senior services into rural towns, addressing elder abuse


As this column hits newsstands, I will be arriving in Washington D.C. to participate in a panel discussion at the invitation of the White House to discuss tax reform. This invitation comes at a time when taxpayers...

Erie County Legislator Joseph Lorigo announces that the HEAP application process is open. HEAP is a federally funded program to assist income eligible Erie County residents with the costs...

Erie County Legislator and Majority Leader Joseph C. Lorigo has received and accepted a formal invitation from the President’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to discuss Tax Reform at The White...

Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo has named Save Our WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center (CPC) as the November 2017 Citizens of the Month in recognition of the members’ relentless and...

Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo has submitted a law that protects Erie County Cold War veterans’ property tax exemption.

In recent weeks the Erie County Legislature has addressed a few items that will benefit our elderly and vulnerable residents. I want to thank the Department of Senior Services for focusing efforts on bringing more dining programs to the towns I represent. In January, Senior Services opened the Stay Fit Dining Program in Marilla; and just last week the Legislature approved a new program at the Elma Senior Center, which will open within the next few weeks. Along with a nutritious meal, Stay Fit Dining locations offer free wellness counseling and education.


My district also has a Stay Fit Dining Program at the West Seneca Senior Center, 4620 Seneca St. For information, please call 675-9288. The Marilla program serves lunch on Mondays and Fridays at the Community Center, 1810 Two Rod Road. For information, please call 652-5350 ext. 402.


Over the next few weeks, I will be meeting with the senior directors in my district to discuss the needs of residents in each town. Seniors living in rural towns often face many challenges and can sometimes find it difficult to receive services. I look forward to hosting this meeting and taking any suggestions or requests to the County’s Senior Services Department.


Additionally, I cosponsored Ruthie’s Law, which is aimed at helping senior citizens in nursing homes.  The law requires local nursing homes to report an incident involving any resident that resulted in injury to a family member or guardian within two hours.  It also improves reporting requirements. A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 30 to hear comment on the proposed law. Anyone wishing to speak is welcome at 92 Franklin St., Fourth Floor, Buffalo.


As many people know, elder abuse is a serious issue in our community that the Legislature, Sheriff’s Office and other departments have been working to combat. One such event that can help seniors and their families is Elder Law Day, sponsored by Erie County Senior Services and the Center for Elder Law & Justice. In addition to discussing elder abuse, the event will have information about Medicaid long-term care, nursing home rights, wills, veterans’ benefits, LGBTQ issues, and health care reform. One-on-one attorney consultations, HIICAP insurance counseling, and NY Connects Options counseling will also be offered. This year’s Elder Law Day will be held on Thursday, June 22 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Adams Mark Hotel. For more information or to register, call 858-7532 or visit


Also, just recently announced was the creation of a new task force, Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team (E-MDT), which provides a collaborative approach to solving elder abuse cases. The Center for Elder Law & Justice, Adult Protective Services, District Attorney’s Office, the Erie County Sheriff's Office and other community members will meet once a month to handle complex elder financial abuse cases. 


If you have any questions about programs the County’s Senior Services Department offers, please contact me at 858-8922 or